River Dogs entering Babe Ruth World Series with mild expectations
Randy Boruff said it best: The team has been “consistently inconsistent.”
With such a tag on their backs, the River Dogs enter this weekend’s Babe Ruth World Series in Ephrata with measured expectations. They can go deep in the tourney every bit as much as they can experience an early exit, said Boruff, who coaches the main River Dogs team.
Sobering words from someone who witnessed the River Dogs make the championship game in last year’s World Series, also played in Ephrata.
This year, the River Dogs have two teams in the World Series, the main squad and a second team, normally referred to as the River Dogs’ White Team, that will play under the name of Moses Lake River Dogs. The Blue Team, coached by Boruff, will retain the Columbia Basin River Dogs moniker.
One team is the host and earned the right to participate that way. The other team earned the right the hard way, winning a spot at state.
This is the 14th year since 1995 that the River Dogs make the World Series. This team is young, with only five players reaching their age limit this year, out of almost three dozen.
In addition, the team is lacking a true ace on its pitching staff, with last year’s ace, Hunter Boyd, having moved on to play college ball, as well as for the Wenatchee Apple Sox.
Instead, the team will have a staff “by committee,” Boruff said.
Othello hurler Abel Gomez will open up the series for the River Dogs, with Duncan Favor of Eastmont, Quincy Vassar of Tonasket, Jordan Rios of Moses Lake, Jonathan Garza of Othello, and former Quincy Jack Hunter Rosenberger, now with Ephrata also on staff..
Players like Nic Lopez, Kaeden Murphy (both from Quincy) Joey Mehelich, and Brewster standout shortstop, closer and leadoff hitter Joe Taylor, figure to carry some of the load on offense, although Murphy is nursing a sore arm.
Dakota Fingar, the centerfielder may also swing a strong bat at the series, Boruff said.
“He had a good summer, hitting over .490,” he said.
Next year, the series moves to Jamestown, N.Y. and then to Mobile, Ala., closing the book on an unusual period where Ephrata hosted twice in a row and three times in four years.
“Babe Ruth likes to have the tournament in Ephrata,” Boruff said, referring to Babe Ruth Baseball, which puts on the tourney. “They like our facilities.”
The Moses Lake River Dogs’ debut is Aug. 5 at 4:30 p.m. First game for the Columbia Basin River Dogs is Saturday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m. A fireworks show will follow the latter game.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org